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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Objects USA: 2020

R & Company / New York / Art

In the 1960s, the gallerist Lee Nordness came up with a visionary idea: he decided to mount an exhibition of American artists who worked in craft mediums. Nordness had been collecting crafts since the 1950s. He saw the show as an opportunity to combine new approaches to craft media with his passion for the fine arts. That exhibition—titled “Objects: USA”—opened its doors in 1969 at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and later toured 33 venues in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Exhibitors included Anni Albers, Wendell Castle, Wharton Esherick, Sheila Hicks, Doyle Lane, George Nakashima, and Art Smith. In the exhibition’s aftermath, an explosion of object makers altered the course of American art. Just over 50 years later, at a time when these singular artists could use another spotlight, comes “Objects: USA 2020.” It mingles work from a new generation of object makers with work by artists from the original show of 1969. —E.C.

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